1 Nickel

ram memory

I have a Dell XPS 9000 desktop. It came with 8GB memory. I called Dell to find out the max memory, they said it was 24GB. I ordered 6 4GB modules and installed them. Under computer properties, it shows 24GB installed but in parenthies it says 16GB usable. Any help would be appreciated. Dell Tech Support was not much help.

0 Kudos
2 Replies
Dell-Rajesh R
5 Tungsten

Re: ram memory

Hi rhkpek ,

On a computer that is running Windows 7, the usable memory (RAM) may be less than the installed memory.

For example, a 32-bit version of Windows 7 may report that there is only 3.5 GB of usable system memory on a computer that has 4 GB of memory installed.

Or, a 64-bit version of Windows 7 may report that there is only 7.1 GB of usable system memory on a computer that has 8 GB of memory installed.

Note: The amounts of usable memory in the examples are not exact amounts. Usable memory is a calculated amount of the total physical memory minus "hardware reserved" memory.

This is expected behavior on computers that are running Windows 7. The reduction in available system memory depends on the configuration of the following:

  • The devices that are installed in the computer and the memory that is reserved by those devices
  • The ability of the motherboard to handle memory
  • The System BIOS version and settings
  • The version of Windows 7 that is installed (For example, Windows 7 Starter Edition only supports 2 GB of installed memory.)
  • Other system settings.

Try to check the system configuration settings:

This problem may occur because the Maximum memory option is selected incorrectly. To fix this, follow these steps:

  • Click Start, type msconfig in the Search programs and files box, and then click msconfig in the Programs list.
  • In the System Configuration window, click Advanced options on the Boot tab.
  • Click to clear the Maximum memory check box, and then click OK.
  • Restart the computer.

Physical memory limits in Windows 7:

The following table specifies the limits on physical memory for the different versions of Windows 7:

Version Limit in 32-bit Windows  Limit in 64-bit Windows
Windows 7 Ultimate 4 GB  192 GB
Windows 7 Enterprise 4 GB  192 GB
Windows 7 Professional 4 GB  192 GB
Windows 7 Home Premium 4 GB  16 GB
Windows 7 Home Basic 4 GB  8 GB
Windows 7 Starter 2 GB  2 GB

For more information on physical memory limitations refer below mentioned link:


Please reply if you have any further questions.

Thanks & Regards
Rajesh R
To know  more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region US ; UK; India. For Dell support videos click Here.
If a post answers your question, please click "

0 Kudos
6 Indium

Re: ram memory

You must upgrade to Windows 7 Professional or Windows 7 Ultimate to use more then 16 GB of RAM.

See Windows Anytime Upgrade

An alternative is to buy Windows 8 professional which will probably be cheaper due to the promotional offer see A Clean Install of Windows 8 for details.

Dr Philip Yip
Tech Enthusiast and Author of the Unofficial Dell Windows Reinstallation Guide

Windows FAQs and OEM Downloads

#IDoNotWorkFor Dell
0 Kudos